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1526 Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón and 600 Spanish colonists (including African slaves and perhaps freemen) landed on the Georgia mainland opposite Sapelo Sound and founded the settlement of San Miguel de Gualdape. This was the first European settlement in North America since the Vikings' exploration around year 1000 A.D. The colonists had sailed from the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in July aboard six ships. In August, they had landed at Winyah Bay on the Carolina coast, but failing to find an Indian settlement (which would be necessary for food until crops could be planted and harvested) they sailed southward.
On the Georgia coast, Ayllón found Guale Indians. Although physical remains of their settlement have not been found, historians and geographers have utilized surviving navigation logs and other records to reconstruct the 1526 voyage. Based on the latest research, the San Miguel de Gualdape settlement probably was situated on the mainland of what today is McIntosh County opposite Sapelo Sound. (Click here to view map.) One source feels the most likely location was within the present-day Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, which is located near the mouth of the Newport River facing St. Catherines Island. (To view a timeline of Spanish exploration and colonization in the New World, click here.)
1746 In London, the court martial trial of Maj. Gen. James Oglethorpe began.
Oglethorpe was suspected of having Jacobite loyalties for his tactics in the campaign against Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, and he had been charged with neglecting or disobeying orders in allowing the Jacobites to escape. However, the board of general officers hearing the case acquitted the general of any wrong-doing.
1863 Confederate Gen. Howell Cobb was appointed to command the Georgia State Troops, with his headquarters to be in Atlanta. One of his first orders that day was to command all volunteer companies and battalions not yet formed into regiments to do so by Nov. 1.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1914 The Boston Braves beat the Chicago Cubs to win the National League pennant. What made the feat so significant is that on July 15, the Braves had been in last place. In the course of 11 weeks, the "Miracle Braves" had gone from last to first.
1934 U.S. Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes, who also served as Pres. Franklin Roosevelt's public works administrator, arrived by an early Saturday morning train in Atlanta to inaugurate the Techwood and University Homes public housing projects. Proceeding to the Atlanta University area, Ickes threw the switch igniting dynamite that blew up two shanties. Later that morning, he took a similar action to level some slum housing in an area known as Tech Flats, which was located near Georgia Tech.
Between the two detonations, Ickes told a national NBC-radio audience that the two Atlanta slum-clearing projects – which would be followed by the first federally supported public housing in the nation – represented "a milestone in the social history of America." And, indeed, similar New Deal public housing projects were launched in 36 other cities across the country.
1948 Owners of Atlanta's WSB radio station launched WSB-TV – Georgia's first television station.
Earlier that year, station WTVR in Richmond, Va. went on the air on April 22, become the first television station in the South. [Contributed by Scott Johnson.]
1956 Hundreds of members of the Ku Klux Klan gathered near the base of Stone Mountain. Three large crosses were burned, and organizers proclaimed that the Klan was "as Solid as Stone Mountain." Based on the car tags of those attending the event, the majority were from Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
1967 Author Carson Smith McCullers died in Nyack, New York. She was born in Columbus, Georgia on February 19, 1917. After graduating from Columbus High School in 1933, she moved to New York City, where she attended Columbia University in 1934, followed by two years at New York University. In 1937, Smith married Reeves McCullers. The next year, they moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she wrote her most famous work, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. In 1997, the Carson McCullers Society was created to promote scholarship in her life and works.
1992 For the second consecutive year, the Atlanta Braves clinched the eastern division title – a feat they would repeat often in the ensuing years.
The 1994 season ended on August 12, when MLB players began a strike that lasted 234 days and meant no division or other post-season titles for 1994. The Braves resumed their eastern division dominance with consecutive titles from 1995 through 2005.
2004 The Atlanta Braves defeated the New York Mets, giving Braves' manager Bobby Cox his 2000th win as a manager. This made Cox only the ninth man in major league baseball history to reach this milestone.
Georgia cities and towns incorporated by acts approved on Sept. 29:
1891 Alapaha (Berrien County), Groveton (Columbia County), and Sycamore (Irwin County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1777 American history books tend to emphasize Britain's 13 American colonies that declared their independence. In fact, not counting its colonies in Canada or the Caribbean, Britain had 15 American colonies in 1776. The two overlooked provinces were East Florida and West Florida, both of which remained loyal to Britain in the Revolution. In this excerpt from a letter to Henry Laurens, Savannah merchant Joseph Clay noted one problem Georgians were having with bands of raiders from East Florida:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VIII, Letters of Joseph Clay, Merchant of Savannah, 1776-1793 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1913), p. 40.
1861 From camp in Yorktown, Va. B. E. Yerby wrote to his father back in Athens, Ga. of a humorous incident he observed of a soldier on guard duty one night:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), "Dear Mother: Don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead.": Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), pp. 70-71.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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